Banking, finance and capital markets in Iceland

BBA//Fjeldco

Following its merger in late 2019, the newly incorporated BBA//Fjeldco fields a broad banking, finance and capital markets team which leverages offices in Iceland, England, France and New York to act for a range of international clients including major investment banks. The group's banking and finance work encompasses cross-border debt issuances, financings and refinancing instructions, while recent capital markets mandates include private placements and major IPOs on Nasdaq OMX. Halldór Karl Halldórsson is a key name for noteworthy transactions: he recently advised Arion Bank on its ISK49bn private placement, which was the first private placement by a large financial institution followed by a public offering of shares. Bjarki Diego's recent work includes assisting Asian Development Bank with its $250m loan to Arctic Green Energy and Sinipec Green Energy Geothermal Company to finance a major project in China. Dual-qualified (Iceland and New York) Ásgeir Ragnarsson has a wealth of experience in M&A, project financing and various commercial and company law matters. Gunnar Thor Thorainsson, who is qualified to practice in Iceland and England, is recognised for advising international investors engaged in Iceland and domestic investors exploring commercial opportunities abroad.

Practice head(s):

Ásgeir Ragnarsson; Gunnar Thor Thorarinsson

Key clients

Kvika bank hf.

Íslandsbanki hf.

Asian Development Bank

RPC Group PLC

Alvogen and Alvotech

Barclays Bank plc

Arion Bank hf.

JP Morgan

Citibank

HSBC

Nordic Investment bank

Japan Bank

BNP PARIPAS

Stefnir hf.

TBJ Group

Danske Bank A/S and Nordea Bank AB

RW Baird Nasdaq

Microsoft

Shanghai International Exchange

Work highlights

  • Acted for Arctic Green Energy on the debt and equity refinancing of the company and subsidiaries.
  • Handled the restructuring of the Alvotech hf. group, wherein Alvotech Holdings became the parent company of Alvotech hf., and the subsequent issuance by Alvotech Holdings of convertible bond instruments.
  • Assisted Pareto Securities with analysing, preparing and executing a bond issuance for the financing of Wow Air.

Lex Law Offices

Lex Law Offices' banking, finance and capital markets practice acts for underwriters, issuers and investors in bond issuances, major IPOs, financing and refinancing mandates, and contentious matters relating to tort liability and shareholders' disputes, where it acts for banks. Practice head Ólafur Haraldsson and Guðmundur Ingvi Sigurðsson are the key names to note in the practice. Recent work highlights include acting for Morgan Stanley International as underwriter on the €1.5bn IPO of Arion Bank and advising Barclays Bank as joint lead managers on the Republic of Ireland's €500m debt issuance.

Practice head(s):

Ólafur Haraldsson

Testimonials

Solid knowledge base and great to work with.’

Guðmundur I. Sigurðsson is excellent to work with, has extensive and solid background and knowledge. Is resourceful and gets the job done!

Key clients

Arion Bank hf.

Íslandsbanki hf.

Landsbankinn hf.

DNB Bank ASA

Morgan Stanley International

The Icelandic Depositors’ and Directors’ Guarantee Fund

Central Bank Asset Management Company

Kvika Bank hf.

City Bank

J.P Morgan Securities

Work highlights

  • Acted as Icelandic legal counsel to City Bank, JP Morgan Securities and several other banks as underwriters on a public offering of new shares in Marel in the Netherlands and Iceland and a dual-listing of its shares on Euronext in Amsterdam and Nasdaq Iceland.
  • Acted as security agent for Eik fasteignafélag on issuing, amending and holding over 50 general bonds securing a real estate portfolio of over 130 assets with a total value of ISK15bn.
  • Advising Arion Bank on its planned Additional Tier 1 (AT1) bond issuance to be issued in co-operation with Barclays. The issuance is the first AT1 issuance of an Icelandic bank following the collapse of the Icelandic banking sector in 2008.

LOGOS

With offices in Reykjavik and London, LOGOS' 'impressive team of lawyers' stands out for its strength assisting international and domestic banks and companies with cross-border IPOs, secondary listings and private placements. The group additionally handles divestment and funding mandates in Iceland for corporates and investment companies. In a significant recent instruction, practice head Thórólfur Jónsson advised Arion Bank on its issuance of shares on Nasdaq Iceland and Nasdaq Stockholm, representing one of the largest share offerings ever recorded in Iceland. Group co-head Guðbjörg Helga Hjartardóttir is also a key name to note.

Practice head(s):

Thórólfur Jónsson; Guðbjörg Helga Hjartardóttir

Testimonials

‘LOGOS’ wide-ranging experience, coupled with the quality of their lawyers, meant that they were able to deliver a high-quality service that was instrumental in achieving the desired outcome for our clients.’

‘In Iceland Logos is by far the best Aviation Law Firm in Iceland. We have been using their service for many years and always get a top-class service.’

‘Benedikt Egill Árnason is very efficient and resourceful.’

‘Óttar Pálsson is our main contact at LOGOS and our go-to lawyer in Iceland. He is a clear market leader and his strengths lie in developing and finding solutions for clients in very challenging situations.’

Key clients

Arion bank

Kaupthing

Goldman Sachs International

Deutsche Bank

Alfa Framtak

Crowberry Capital

Marel

Work highlights

  • Advised Marel on its offering and secondary listing on Euronext Amsterdam (in addition to its already existent listing on Nasdaq Iceland).
  • Assisted the shareholders of CCP, a developer of interactive entertainment, with the sale of all its shares to Pearl Abyss, a listed South-Korean company, through a structured sales process with multiple international potential bidders participating. This is the largest IT/IP exit in of Iceland.
  • Advised Strax on the disposal of the entire issued share capital of Gear4 HK to Zagg for $500m.

ADVEL Attorneys at Law

The banking, finance and capital markets team at ADVEL Attorneys at Law, which is led by Kristinn Hallgrímsson, handles contentious and transactional matters including loan agreements, debt issuances, refinancing work, regulatory matters and bankruptcy disputes. Recent key work includes Dóra Sif Tynes acting for Arion Bank on its NOK500m bond issuance on the Oslo Stock Exchange; Tynes recently returned to the practice after a period at the European Free Trade Association. Stefan Thor Ingimarsson is singled out for his expertise in domestic and cross-border financing transactions and restructuring agreements; he recently advised a large bank on a high-value foreign bond offering.

Practice head(s):

Kristinn Hallgrímsson

Key clients

Arion Bank

Hampidjan

Advania Group

Reitir Real Estate

N1 hf.

HB Grandi hf.

Oryggismidstodin

Invent Pharma Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for Arion Bank on its NOK500m bond issuance on the Oslo Stock Exchange.
  • Advised a large bank on a high-value foreign bond offering.

Juris

Juris' 'very competent and professional practice' has considerable expertise in contentious banking and finance matters arising from the 2008 financial crash, recovery proceedings and claims for damages, alongside a strong track record in domestic and cross-border project financing mandates in the telecoms, energy and infrastructure sectors. Dual-qualified partner Simon Knight, who is noted for being 'diligent and meticulous', is very active in multi-jurisdictional mandates and recently acted for Sunnuvellir on its $900m investment in Silicor's development of a solar silicon plant in Iceland. Halldór JónssonAndri Árnason and Sigurbjörn Magnússon jointly lead the department.

Practice head(s):

Halldór Jónsson; Andri Árnason; Sigurbjörn Magnússon

Testimonials

‘Juris’ service is personal – the team focus on their customers needs. They have strong partners with a great depth of knowledge both in terms of practical and theoretical matters.’

‘Simon Knight is very strong in finance and cross border corporate matters.’  

‘Finnur Magnússon is extremely strong in EU/EEA matters and the interplay between Icelandic law and the EU Acquis.’

‘Andri Árnason has proven himself to be very knowledgable about Icelandic corporate law.’ 

Key clients

Sunnuvellir slhf.

Summa Rekstrarfélag hf.

Birgir Þór Bieltvedt

Borgun hf.

Alliance Bernstein

Kaupþing ehf.

Íslandsbanki hf.

Landsbankinn hf.

Bakkastakkur slhf.

Work highlights

  • Represented Kaupþing in civil claims for the recovery of funds lost due to alleged criminal conduct prior to the financial collapse in 2008.
  • Defended Borgun in a damages claim relating to its alleged abuse of a dominant position and alleged collusion.
  • Advising Aurora Stream on financing matters.

Lagahvoll

Primarily acting for issuers, Lagahvoll's banking, finance and capital markets expertise spans financing work, bond issuances and contentious matters including shareholder disputes; the group is also involved in funding rounds for Icelandic start-ups. Practice co-head Jóhann Tómas Sigurðsson, who is qualified in Iceland and New York, recently advised a social housing company as issuer on a $500m bond issuance, which will be the first issuance by a domestic issuer of a social bond under the ICMA Social Bond Principles 2019 guidelines. Fellow co-head Daði Bjarnason is also a key name to note.

Practice head(s):

Daði Bjarnason; Jóhann Tómas Sigurðsson

Key clients

Dohop ehf.

Gleðipinnar ehf.

Atmonia ehf.

1819 – Nýr valkostur ehf.

Immis ehf. / Sigmar Vilhjálmsson

Flotferðir ehf.

Beka ehf.

Múlakaffi ehf.

Work highlights

  • Advised a social housing company as issuer on a $500m bond issuance, which will be the first issuance by a domestic issuer of a social bond under the ICMA Social Bond Principles 2019 guidelines.
  • Assisted Dohop with its financing from easyJet.
  • Handled Gleðipinnar’s acquisition of a majority stake in BlackBox Pizzeria.